#1
Hi, this is a reassurance question really so sorry about that, but I'm asking it coz really its better to know the consensus and if its something I need to aim towards in the distant future

In the video below the chap stretches his forefinger<->pinkie allowing him to play the lowest notes between the low E and A string (E and A 5ths and 8th in the common pentatonic pattern) without having to raise his fingers off the fretboard

youtu.be/T8_skqV68DQ?t=810

(the last 7 notes that he plays)

I can't make this stretch without sitting down and acrobatting the guitar a bit (and I practice standing up/try to make things hard for myself)

Is this something I should definitely try to work towards over the next X months and years even though its not even close to physically possible for me to make those stretches?

Or do people just get faster at playing whilst lifting their fingers to make the stretch and just to forget about it altogether?

Hope I'm clear, I guess its a super common question for barre chords but I haven't progressed to any barre chords that I can't stretch to yet except for that higher f chord which i haven't looked at seriously yet enough to complain about (or more like i was instantly like **** this)

So yeah specifically my question applies to the notes he is playing there because that's such a common position
Last edited by percydw at Sep 3, 2015,
#2
There are 3 positions on the fretboard where all the notes in the fret are part of the major scale, or its relatives. In all those 3 spots I can hold a barre with my index, and play through the whole scale, in any key. This is on acoustic, and it gets more tough for me as I approach the 12th fret.

I find it useful. You should be able to do it on electric as well.

I have a habit of keeping my finger as a barre a lot of the time when I play. I find it makes blending in and out of chords more easily, and allows for coloring stuff a little more.
#3
this is what im looking at with spazzing 4th finger from stretching



i will consider adding it to my routine as an extra for when i CBF to play anymore and will just sit down and acrobat the guitar

can i take out medical insurance for guitar playing
Last edited by percydw at Sep 3, 2015,
#4
Looks to me like your pinky is flat. I never do that. What you're doing there doesn't even seem like much of a stretch to me.

Try this one. This took me a while at first.

2
5
2
4
5
x


I will sometimes stretch with my pinky also and play something like

10
5
5
5
5

If that's what the melody I'm playing up high needs over an m7.

Although, I might also alternatively do a sus shape

10
8
9
7
x
x

or another minor voicing with that 10th fret in there

10
10
9
10
x
x

Luckily, by the time a note gets too far to reach, there is generally another voicing you can use well enough. Some chords don't really, or, kind of do, but it doesn't sound so nice.

But you should start small.

On acoustic, even,

5
5
5
5
5
5

Is tough.

5
5
5
6
7
5

also.

It takes quite a bit of strength and callouses, and technique to play cleanly and easily.

If you start more easily you are working up to tougher things. If you go straight into tougher things you might hurt yourself, and it will be depressing.

But you're right, stuff like that can be practiced when you're not really in the mood. While you're watching TV or something.

I like to do stuff like that while I watch hockey, because I can watch hockey, and then focus a bit on my playing, and I didn't miss anything important, really. No plot to follow, if something interesting happens, I'll know, and there's a replay.

I work those muscles out everyday. Not a day goes by where I don't feel a burn in my left forearm from that.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Sep 3, 2015,
#5
Quote by percydw
this is what im looking at with spazzing 4th finger from stretching



i will consider adding it to my routine as an extra for when i CBF to play anymore and will just sit down and acrobat the guitar

can i take out medical insurance for guitar playing


If you look at the video you posted there is a striking difference, his thumb is behind the neck and not trying to touch the ceiling
Try that mate and I'm sure you will notice the benefit as it's not really a big stretch, just playing in 5th position.
#6
Quote by fingrpikingood
Looks to me like your pinky is flat. I never do that. What you're doing there doesn't even seem like much of a stretch to me.

Try this one. This took me a while at first.

2
5
2
4
5
x


I will sometimes stretch with my pinky also and play something like

10
5
5
5
5

If that's what the melody I'm playing up high needs over an m7.

Although, I might also alternatively do a sus shape

10
8
9
7
x
x

or another minor voicing with that 10th fret in there

10
10
9
10
x
x

Luckily, by the time a note gets too far to reach, there is generally another voicing you can use well enough. Some chords don't really, or, kind of do, but it doesn't sound so nice.

But you should start small.

On acoustic, even,

5
5
5
5
5
5

Is tough.

5
5
5
6
7
5

also.

It takes quite a bit of strength and callouses, and technique to play cleanly and easily.

If you start more easily you are working up to tougher things. If you go straight into tougher things you might hurt yourself, and it will be depressing.

But you're right, stuff like that can be practiced when you're not really in the mood. While you're watching TV or something.

I like to do stuff like that while I watch hockey, because I can watch hockey, and then focus a bit on my playing, and I didn't miss anything important, really. No plot to follow, if something interesting happens, I'll know, and there's a replay.

I work those muscles out everyday. Not a day goes by where I don't feel a burn in my left forearm from that.



1st chord i think u mean

2
3 (not 5)
2
4
5
x

yeah i can get that, its not bad.
standing up is another matter tho, i would need to superglue my pinkie to stop it shooting up the fretboard. but doesnt seem impossible

10
5
5
5
5

this is obviously something i would need coaching (watch videos) to understand how you should hold your hands to achieve. ill come to that below..


Quote by SpiderM
If you look at the video you posted there is a striking difference, his thumb is behind the neck and not trying to touch the ceiling
Try that mate and I'm sure you will notice the benefit as it's not really a big stretch, just playing in 5th position.


well spotted dude. i guess this explains a lot.

sitting down i can hit a lot of things, standing up i can hit **** all and its because of the massive difference in hand positioning , wrist positioning, arm positioning, the whole lot.

i tried sitting down and doing that thing in the video , with my wrist in different positions, and can hit it

fingerpickin , i dont know if you stand up to play, try doing some barre chords standing up , and then try with the guitar low on your body (like "just covering the groin" height). its like super duper harder.

you have to angle the guitar up more and/or lean over it and/or angle it pointing out forwards from your body etc to get the finger positioning and barre in the right place


i would do well to watch videos of people playing (something i bet most guitar fans do, and something ive barely ever done ever) and see their technique, hand/wrist/arm angles etc

theres also some youtubes when i search for how to play standing up which should help

and i could look up practice exercises and see what technique is used in those pretty clearly too


i had my guitar strap lower recently and made it even lower today, and so have been raging about being completely unable to play any barre chords all day. now i have an idea why. obvious tho it is, its not obvious when you're trying to practice stuff and just can't pull it off, you just think you're a ******


im an "ex" video gamer since i started practicing guitar properly, so i put on streams of people playing video games like Dota or Hearthstone ( https://www.youtube.com/user/TrumpSC/videos ) to keep me company


EDIT: idk maybe i was just not practicing technique properly lately due to using the amp (so you can't hear properly how bad you are) and not focusing on it, combine that with lowering the strap further and then turning off the amp and suddenly i found i can't barre for shit. but i just stood up and tried again after writing this post (and practicing during that time) and hit them fine immediately

good reminder to study up on proper physical technique, hand positioning/angles though, instead of just doing my own thing and thinking some things are impossible
Last edited by percydw at Sep 4, 2015,
#7
Quote by percydw
1st chord i think u mean

2
3 (not 5)
2
4
5
x


Nope, I wrote it correctly. It is not easy. the two bottome strings are middle and ring finger that 5 you're talking about is the pinky, and you barre the 2s. What you wrote is a simple major chord, which is also a bit tough, but still quite a bit easier.

I wrote a song that starts off.

2
5
2
4
5
x

and then

2
5
2
4
4
x

I couldn't really play it when I wrote it. It's easy for me now, but that one was tough.



yeah i can get that, its not bad.
standing up is another matter tho, i would need to superglue my pinkie to stop it shooting up the fretboard. but doesnt seem impossible

10
5
5
5
5

this is obviously something i would need coaching (watch videos) to understand how you should hold your hands to achieve. ill come to that below..
Your thumb needs to be at the back of the neck, and you need lots of power pushing down, fully flush, and then a big stretch. This is really not easy at all.

You are a long way from that I think. I wasn't necessarily suggesting you try that or learn that just yet. It is better to take small steps and work your way up in increments. I'm just showing you some things I know are possible, that you could work your way up to eventually.

It took me a while of playing guitar to be able to do that. But a long time I played and didn't use barre chords really. Probably in the last year or maybe 2 I decided to really push into the barre chord shapes because they were so powerful, and more ergonomic. Healthier for my hands. I used some before, but, I more often used the thumb wrap technique, which I still do use, but the barre chord is more versatile, and is all around a superior technique, imo. However, for some stuff nothing beats the thumb wrapped around the bottom.




fingerpickin , i dont know if you stand up to play, try doing some barre chords standing up , and then try with the guitar low on your body (like "just covering the groin" height). its like super duper harder.



I play standing up and sitting down on acoustic. But ya, a low slung guitar makes it tougher to play for sure. It's a trade off. You have to decide whether you prefer to look more cool, or have a more powerful arsenal at your fingertips. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to look cool with the guitar slung low doing more lead stuff, or simpler music. But it's a tradeoff.

There is no way I would play with my guitar like that. Where I carry my guitar is where I can have the most flexibility to play the most stuff the easiest. I actually prefer playing standing up for a lot of reasons, but sitting down has the advantage that you're sitting lol. I carry my guitar on my strap roughly in the same position it would be if I was sitting down. When I'm sitting down, I wear my strap also, at the same length as when I'm standing.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Sep 4, 2015,
#8
Some things seem impossible at first. After you practice them for awhile they become possible.
"When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. This is my religion." -- Abraham Lincoln
#9
Quote by Virgman
Some things seem impossible at first. After you practice them for awhile they become possible.


This would make a great signature lol.
#11
Quote by The Backslider
That's not a stretch! I could play that with my ring finger.....


You're my hero!